David Boyd (cinematographer)

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David Boyd
Born
David Russell Boyd

NationalityAmerican
OccupationCinematographer
film director
television director
Years active1979–present
OrganizationAmerican Society of Cinematographers
Known forFirefly
Without a Trace
The Walking Dead
Spouse(s)
Barbara Crampton (m. 1988–1990)

David Russell Boyd, A.S.C. is an American cinematographer and director of television and film known for his role as director of photography for the FOX television series Firefly and the AMC series The Walking Dead.[1] He also worked as cinematographer on the first three episodes of HBO's Deadwood. On the NBC television series Friday Night Lights[2] he served as director of photography on 18 of 22 episodes in the first season and moved up to direct two more. He also directed the film Home Run, which was released in 2013.

Early life[edit]

Boyd was born in Cripple Creek, Colorado, to a military father, and spent his early childhood in Paris, France. He was inspired to become a cinematographer after stumbling onto the set of Is Paris Burning?, where he was spontaneously recruited by the crew to drag cables for camera and lighting equipment.[3] While attending the University of California, San Diego as physics major, he took an elective film-watching class called "Thursday Night at the Movies." The class was taught by Jean-Luc Garande, a veteran of the French New Wave and colleague of Jean-Luc Godard. Garande inspired Boyd to drop his physics major and attend the UCLA Film School to become a cinematographer and director.[4]

Career[edit]

Television[edit]

For the first ten years of his career, Boyd worked primarily as a documentary cameraman and camera operator. His big break came when he met actor-turned-director Charles Haid, who hired him as DP on the television series Buddy Faro. Boyd shot nine episodes between 1998 and 2000, and subsequently served as DP on the series Big Apple and the Syfy miniseries Firestarter: Rekindled.

Boyd served as director of photography on all 14 episodes of the cult series Firefly, imbuing the science fiction property with a unique, Western-inspired aesthetic.[5][6] Boyd got the job after quoting a line from The Searchers during an interview with creator Joss Whedon.[7] Whedon and Boyd developed a look for the series inspired by Golden Age Western films and the 1981 film Outland.[8] Boyd worked to incorporate lighting into the show's recurring sets,[9] much like Gilbert Taylor's work on Star Wars twenty years prior.[10] The series' interiors was shot almost entirely utilizing two handheld cameras on 35mm film, using wide-angle lens and wide focal lengths to create a sense of claustrophobia and confinement within the ship's interior.[11] Boyd's work on the series has become some of the most well-known and widely acclaimed of his career.[12]

Boyd carried over his Western aesthetic to the first three episodes of the HBO series Deadwood. He was series DP on Without a Trace, shooting a total of 42 episodes, and shot 21 episodes of Friday Night Lights in addition to directing 6 episodes. He shot 19 episodes of The Walking Dead and directed 7, using Super 16mm film to create a gritty, realistic visual aesthetic.[13][14] Other television series he has worked on include Sons of Anarchy, Men of a Certain Age, Do No Harm, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Since 2014, Boyd has focused more on directing, and has served as both a regular and guest directors on shows including Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow, The Night Shift, Shades of Blue, and The Mist.

Film[edit]

For much of his early career, Boyd worked as a camera operator on B-horror movies like Evilspeak, Ghoulies, From Beyond, Prison, Return of the Living Dead Part II, and DeepStar Six. Boyd had a cameo role in Puppet Master, a film on which he served as assistant camera operator, alongside his then-wife Barbara Crampton.[15] He worked frequently with producer Charles Band's production companies Empire Pictures and Full Moon Features, and served as 2nd unit director of photography on to To Die For, a vampire horror film directed by Deran Sarafian. He was also 2nd unit DP on high-profile films in the late 1990s and early 2000s like Galaxy Quest, Cast Away, Bubble Boy, and Joy Ride. He replaced Don Burgess on What Lies Beneath after the cinematographer proved unavailable for reshoots.

Boyd's debut feature film as primary DP was Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. The following year, he shot the Richard Donner-helmed action film 12 Rounds and the period drama Get Low starring Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Bill Murray. He made his directorial debut in 2013 with Home Run, a religiously-themed sports drama on which he also served as director of photography. That same year, he shot the sci-fi horror film Dark Skies for producer Jason Blum.

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Year Title Notes Network
1998–2000 Buddy Faro 9 episodes CBS
2001 Big Apple 8 episodes
2002 Firestarter: Rekindled Miniseries

2 episodes

Syfy
2002–2003 Firefly 14 episode Fox
2003 Threat Matrix Pilot episode ABC
2004 Deadwood 3 episode HBO
2003–05 Without a Trace 42 episodes CBS
2006–07 Friday Night Lights 21 episodes

Director – 6 episodes

NBC

Audience

2007 Bionic Woman Director – 1 episode
2009 Sons of Anarchy 2 episodes FX
2009–10 Men of a Certain Age 5 episodes

Director – 7 episodes

TNT
2010 No Ordinary Family 1 episode ABC
2010–19 The Walking Dead 9 episodes

Director – 9 episodes

AMC
2013 Once Upon a Time Director – 1 episode ABC
Do No Harm 3 episodes NBC
2013–14 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 12 episodes ABC
2014 Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Director – 1 episode
Revolution NBC
Believe
Mind Games ABC
The Night Shift Pilot episode

Director – 4 episodes

NBC
Gang Related Director – 1 episode Fox
Sleepy Hollow
2015 Backstrom
Constantine NBC
Murder in the First TNT
12 Monkeys Syfy
2015–16 Longmire Director – 3 episodes A&E

Netflix

2016–18 Shades of Blue Director – 4 episodes NBC
2016 Of Kings and Prophets Director – 1 episode ABC
Containment The CW
Aquarius NBC
2016–18 Queen of the South Director – 7 episodes USA Network
2017 The Mist Director – 1 episode Spike
2018 ’’The Brave’’ Director – 1 episode NBC
‘’The Crossing’’ Director – 1 episode ABC
2019 ‘’The Enemy Within’’ Director – 1 episode NBC

Film[edit]

Year Title Dir. Notes
1999 Galaxy Quest Dean Parisot 2nd unit director of photography
2000 What Lies Beneath Robert Zemeckis Additional photography; uncredited

with Don Burgess

Cast Away 2nd unit director of photography
2001 Bubble Boy Blair Hayes
Joy Ride John Dahl
2008 Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Patricia Rozema
2009 12 Rounds Renny Harlin
2012 Get Low Aaron Schneider
Joyful Noise Todd Graff
2013 Home Run N/A Also director
Dark Skies Scott Stewart

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephanie Argy, American Cinematographer magazine (February 2003). "Director of photography David Boyd brings an Old West aesthetic to Firefly, a Fox sci-fi series set in deep space". Retrieved October 30, 2006.
  2. ^ Staff Writer, Kodak InCamera magazine (January 2007). "Creating Compelling Friday Night Lights".
  3. ^ "Interview With The Walking Dead DP and Director, David Boyd". Videomaker.com. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Interview With The Walking Dead DP and Director, David Boyd". Videomaker.com. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "American Cinematographer: Firefly". theasc.com. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Wilcox, Rhonda V.; Tanya, Cochran (July 30, 2008). Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9780857713667.
  7. ^ "Firefly: DP David Boyd ASC Recalls Shooting The Cult Classic : Cinematography". library.creativecow.net. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  8. ^ "Firefly: DP David Boyd ASC Recalls Shooting The Cult Classic : Cinematography". library.creativecow.net. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  9. ^ "Firefly: DP David Boyd ASC Recalls Shooting The Cult Classic : Cinematography". library.creativecow.net. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  10. ^ Hughes, James (August 29, 2013). "A Long Time Ago …". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  11. ^ "Firefly: DP David Boyd ASC Recalls Shooting The Cult Classic : Cinematography". library.creativecow.net. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  12. ^ "Firefly: DP David Boyd ASC Recalls Shooting The Cult Classic : Cinematography". library.creativecow.net. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  13. ^ "Firefly: DP David Boyd ASC Recalls Shooting The Cult Classic : Cinematography". library.creativecow.net. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  14. ^ "Interview With The Walking Dead DP and Director, David Boyd". Videomaker.com. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  15. ^ Gingold, Michael (August 2, 2017). "Barbara Crampton Talks PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH". Birth.Movies.Death. Retrieved September 19, 2017.

External links[edit]